Deer in Changhua County found to be infected with bovine TB

An autopsy has found that a deer at an ecological park in Lukang, Changhua County, died of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Quarantine official Shih Tai-hua said on Monday that bovine TB can spread to humans via saliva or the air. The consumption of polluted and unsterilized meat and dairy products can also spread the bacteria to humans, as seen in 20 cases at a dairy farm last year.

Shih said six other deer at the park have not been infected with the disease. But he said more tests will be carried out over the next eight months, as the incubation period for the bacteria is quite long.

Shih also said that because the infected deer originally came from a deer farm in Miaoli County, quarantine authorities have taken steps to curb the spread.

A test is being carried out," said Shih. "If [animals] test positive, they will be immediately slaughtered. We have also suggested that the Lukang Township Office refrain from holding events, in order to prevent public contact with [infected animals].

Taiwan will report the latest case to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in its half-year report.

Source: Radio Taiwan International